“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5.
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with [i]flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Galatians 1:15-17.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
I call you each by name. I have a call on each life that comes from Me. And those I have called, I also justified; and these whom I justified, I also glorified. Romans 8:30. But it all has to do with being conformed to the image of My Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29. It is all wrapped up in Jesus. In Him you are complete. And it is in Him you find your call. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7. I made you alive in Him. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
I have called you to fellowship (partnership) with My Son, 1 Corinthians 1:9, and to fulfill your calling takes perseverance. Perseverance earns the crown. You want to receive your full reward. Do not give up when you are so close to victory and seeing My glory. Did I not tell you if you would only believe you will see the glory of God?
Generosity is a key to walking like Me. Forgiveness and love bring blessings from above. Forgetting certain things is better than remembering. Don’t quit when you are so close to victory.
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14.
Forgetting what lies behind, press forward with force, the force of faith in the One who loved you and gave His life for you. Paul wrote that and today we are going to look at the next miracle in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles and that is the revelation of Jesus to Saul, who became My apostle Paul, and his conversion from rejecting Christ to faith in Christ, from darkness into light.
Paul’s conversion to Christ was very dramatic and filled with supernatural vision and revelation, but do not think that your conversion to faith in Christ was any less of a miracle just because you did not have a heavenly vision. Blessed are those who have not seen but have believed. And Jesus Himself told you that. And My apostle Peter wrote, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9.
Some of you had the privilege, like Timothy, of hearing the sacred Scriptures read over you and spoken of by your mother while you were still in the womb and you were raised in a household of faith. Others never heard the Word at all as children, but later found My Word and devoured it and it became the joy and treasure of their hearts. Some are led to Jesus by hearing an anointed preacher on the internet or television, others from a friend or a classmate. But know that it is Me drawing you to Him and it is always in My plan for your life. “With long life I satisfy you and I show you My salvation (Yeshuah, Jesus).” If you have a heart inclined to Me, I will make sure you come to Jesus. And that was what I did for Paul, though he was misled about Christ in his zeal for the traditions of the Jewish religion he was doing all he did for Me and his heart was wholly devoted to Me. He was the most zealous person for Me of his day, it was just channeled in the wrong direction at first, but I took him out of darkness into My own marvelous light. And once he caught the vision he became the apostle of the apostles, just as fervently as he had been the Pharisee of Pharisees.
If you recall, when Stephen was stoned to death by the Jews, Saul condoned it and was there observing, though he did not throw stones. But after that, he started persecuting believers in My Son. And, breathing threats and murder against the believers in Jesus, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And the high priest was of the same mind so he gave him the letters. Acts 9:1-2.
But I had other plans for one so filled with zeal for My honor. I would show him My Yeshuah. So as he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. Acts 9:3-9.
Worldly eyes are blinded by the brilliance of My risen Son, it takes special eyes of faith to gaze upon the face of Christ. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:4-6. And the apostle Paul wrote that by inspiration of the Spirit but he had experienced it personally.
And now comes in another miracle of the body of Christ whereby all the members are working together in union with the Head, who is Christ. “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” Acts 9:9-11.This is the response of a believer who knows Me and the One I sent, Jesus Christ, and is alert to hear what the Spirit is saying. Here Jesus was talking with him. And he was ready to listen.
“And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” Acts 9:11-12. If you will note, the instruction was very explicit, providing every detail needed. Become used to hearing My voice and you will be able to discern the same.
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” Acts 9:14. He is ready to work this out with Jesus together. Ananias is reminding Me of Paul’s past record, but I already knew that. Remember that you cannot hide anything from Me. I know everything already. But I reassured him all was all right, and I will do that with you as well. Share everything with Me, pour out you heart before Me. I will never disppain
“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” So Ananias departed, like Abraham, he was quick to obey once he discerned My Will in the matter.
So he entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Acts 9:15-18.
And from the day on Paul did a hundred and eighty degree turn around and was preaching Christ with all the force and power of one who knew Him personally. Paul would write, “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Galatians 2:19-21.
Many years later, Paul would describe his call to King Agrippa when he had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel and Jesus as Lord. “I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:12-18.
Paul did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to Me, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. Acts 26:19-20. And once he had finished his course and completed his race, he laid down his life willingly and came home to Me. Absent from the body, present with Me. And he had told you that he preferred to depart from this life and be with Me, for that was the far better thing, but he knew he must remain for a while longer for your sake so he could impart to all of you what I revealed to him. Give as a gift that which you have received as a gift. And the more you give, the more you receive. And the more revelation he shared, the more I revealed to him.
I love you. I have called you by name, you are mine. You have a call on your life.